If you are not familiar with Ku long novel movies like kille
morgoth | omaha, NE | 04/06/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The special features will be commented on at the end but I want to start this off by telling you about what I NOW know about rarescope. I looked on here and saw that somebody has done reviews for both of the rarescope releases, sadly he did not comment on the movie so I had to go and experience it for myself. I saw it at best buy for 5.99 and had heard it was AWESOME(by that oen guy), I also heard that showdown at the cottonmill was good from a nut I know. I am very dissapointed though with this release. THERE ARE NO SUBTITLES. There is not even an english freaking dub. So your saying sir jethro, how did you watch this movie. Well there are IMBEDDED subs that are around 80% readable. And the only reason you can read them at all is because the picture has been restored very nicely. I was going to come on here and give this movie a 5 no matter what because I am VERY VERY VERY + VERY VERY VERY happy that a company like brentwood has stepped it up and wants to rival celestial. And though they have no chance in hell at doing that, I will certainly buy these movies over celestial. The reason why is the ULTRA RARENESS OF THESE MOVIES. I will cover this when I go over the trailer package.
Ok, so first of all, this is an OLD movie. You can tell right away with how beatiful the scenery is. There is a shot of a horse carriage going down a dirt road with green grass on the sides and it is EASILY the most beautiful image I have seen in a movie for a long time. Now if you are not familiar with the ku lung novel movies than I would be glad to enlighten you. Most people know of the crouching dragon movie, and while the MA's in that kicks the shit out of this, it is not true to the ku lung novels. It may have been one of his stories, but it is not the type he is known for. MOST of these types were directed by chor yuen and every movie would be on the EXACT same sets because they are ALL shw brothers movies. Now those movies seriously kick ass, not because you have an EXTREMELY simple story like crouching dragon, but because EVERY character had their own plans and the story NEVER stayed the same in any of these movies. The movie would always start out with a hero character like lo lieh and then half way through you find out that he is the real bad guy of the film. Sometimes you don't even get a final fight, but it is always guaranteed to haev of plenty fights anyway. The shaws were MASTERS at always coming up with new weaponry and while this is NOT A SHAWS production, it has some really cool weapons. You can tell right away this is an independant flick by all the beautiful scenery. You literally can't point the camera anywhere without getting a great shot.
So people sometimes don't get these stories like they so easily got dragon, but the stories are so original I find them better than most movies today. So before movies were being made, people read these books and lived out their fantasies by following their favorite ku lung characters in the martial world. That is another thing, these movies always have many clans and they are always tryign to kill eachother so that their clan leader can be atop the martial world. But the clan leader means shit because they could be knocked off from anybody who say has been a traitor secretly can kill the clan leader at any time. so it is just endless murders and cool stuff like that. Now onto the actual movie finally.
First off, this movie has a TOP 3 INTRO SEQUENCE EVER!!!!!!!!!!
It just shows different clan member killing people and some very gruesoem deaths and they always throw a cloth over it right as they kill them. It is honestly one of the coolest things I have ever seen. But sadly the rest of the movie fails to live up to this. But then again if it did live up to it it would easily be the greatest movie ever, so I'm not too mad. But this movie is so true to the movies I am used to seeing and it even managed to come up with some new cool things. Now the special effects and the wirework are easily some of the best you will ever see from the seventies. And this movie seems like it was made before all the chor yuen movies, I could be wrong but it is advanced wirework for it's day whether it is from 72, 77, or 87, outstanding. Now the story I'm not gonna get inot to much detail, I will leave it to you to pause and decipher the story as much as you can. It HONESTLY took me 3 times to get the whole story and I still couldn't read some of the subtitles. But the story was well worth finding out what was being spoken.
This movie is about a swordsman who has a wife who wants to learn the "fragrant sword" technique and, she wants to learn it so she can be strong and so they can escape. Everyone wants to kill this swordsman cause he has this special skill but we find out that he ahsn't even learned it yet. What happens afterwards is very good, some scenes involve a fat guy(with very good fist techniques), and a little mokey guy who can seriously fight to. They save the swordsman and end up teaching him a special sword style, not the frangrant sword. I don't want to give away about what they teach him but this is where the special effects and wonderful wirework comes in to play. So the swordsman continues his travels and tries to keep in hiding from the evil bishop who wears a pretty cool mask. They have a scene where they close the curtains after speaking with the bishop and for the bishop to go back in seclusion they HAVE TO CLOSE LIKE * seperate layers of curtain. And it looks so freaking cool I can almost tell you to buy the movie for this alone. The end was REALLY cool and I guarantee that if you have the time and patience like me, you will really like the story which will help the overall viewing experience. But if you don't follow the story, things won't make sense and it will ruin it when a funny moment should have happened for you. And there are only like 2 good action scenes but it is still a great movie.
Now the picture in this movie I would compare somewhat to the master of the flying guillotine, but the SCENERY, EASILY puts this a notch above that. Why they can't remaster them like celestial does I don't know, I guess that sadly it's just that martial arts movies are sort of a cult thing. The sound is also very good and even though it is your average stock music, they apply it perfectly.
The special features are limited BUT FREAKING THE SHIZNIT.
INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT TAI- I have never heard of this guy and they show him and HE IS THE BAD ASS BADDIE IN INCREDIBLE KUNG FU MISSION(aka kung fu commandos). What I didn't know is that he is a director for the venoms, IMDB only has him listed for the crippled avengers, but I will lay money on it that he has worked in a couple of other movies. Now this is an AWESOME interview and he talks about how on spiderman and bond type characters need lots of sets and good sets. Then the interviewer asks him about if he would like to make movies. And Tai just goes off about how no one would ever hire him because he has original ideas, and how EVEN 5 BILLION DOLLARS WOULD NOT BE EnOUGH FOR HIM TO MAKE A MOVIE, AND THIS GUY IS SERIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Then he goes off on tiu sung, who is the guy who directed duel to the dueth, and did action choreography for swordsman 2, dragon, hero, house of daggers, and he really rips him about how he only copies things and he will just do whatever the director wants becuase he's not creative. He says that...go ahead and find out for yourself cuase it is honestly one of the best interviews I have ever seen.
THE TRAILERS- this is the main reason to review this dvd, they show some of their upcoming releases. I will go over them.
LOST SWORDSHIP-movie I just reviewed obviously, if I hadn;t already seen it I would have to say this looks like a pretty weak movie cause the action kinda sucks, but after watching this I AM READY TO BUY ALL OF THESE MOVIES SO WAT FOR THEM TO COME OUT AND I GUARANTEE I WILL TELL YOU ABOUT THEM. And the reason this review is so long is because this is my first time reviewign this company so the ones in the future will probably just review the movie and dvd quality. BUT IMBEDDED SUBS REALLY PISSES ME OFF, ALWAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SWORD NAMED REVENGE- I though the fights in this look pretty stupid but "I could be completely wrong".
3 FAMOUS CONSATABLES-WOW WOW WOW, I would do anything to have this. This has the star of the lost swordship in it and it looks like he's trh ehero again, swordship wasn't a grewat action film or nothing but this has gotta be one of the best. The clip they show is of the hero stabbign his sword into the ground and blood coming out with a guy who was justabout to come otu but didn't get the chance. THEN LIKE 20 GUYS POP UP OUT OF THE GROUND WITH THRE COOLEST SPRING LOADED DEVICES USED TO MAKE THESE GUYS FLY!!! UP AND THIS MOVIE LOOKS LIKE IT NEEDS TO BE SEEN BY EVERYBODY.
NINJAS AND DRAGONS- freaking wow, guy in a mak, looks insane and the action is REALLY COOL.
CHOY LEE FAT KUNG FU- looks kinda stupid but old master looks good with his skills.
MONKS FIGHT- VERY cut up movie but the 20 seconds they showed of this movie looked BADASS and right up there with movies like Secret Rivals and Ong Bak.
BLACK EAGLE'S BLADE- I have this movie but it is honestly one of the worst picture qualities I have ever seen. And since what I saw looked like a VERY good swordplay film I will be very happy to get this in a hopefully fully restored version.
WHITTY HAND WHITTY SWORD- Looks kinda stupid but has really cool wirework from the 20 seconds I saw.
WRATH OF THE SWORD- stupid wang yu style swordplay film, it stars the baddie from enter the dragon, but I wouldn't be surprised if this ended up being my fav of the whole bunch because when cheesy movies are done right like one armed boxer, they are FREAKING COOL.
SWORD OF JUSTICE- this is a must buy it has this SWEET sowrd fight in the rain, and they are both fighting one-handed and each have a sword in the other hand.
NINJAS IN ANCIENT CHINA-people, this is truly a lost classic, I would compare this with nijas and dragons, not couse they sound the same but because you have some of the most insane ever stuff going on ever. I honestly wish I could explain how good the action looks in this movie.
So as long as the film print is restored as good as this one is, I WILL HIGHLY RECCOMEND THIS COMPANY TO ANYBODY AS LONG AS THEY PUT REMOVABLE BLACK OUTLINED SUBTITLES OR AT LEAST A GOD DAM ENGLISH DUB. BUT THANK YOU FOR RELEASING THIS LOST CLASSIC.
Twister Kicker | New York | 01/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"By far the best brand for kung fu fanatics!
These Rarescope films rival the Shaw Brothers in content and presentation.
This title comes with an optional english dubbed track.
It's interesting to compare the two language versions.
The english dub just cheapens the film to be honest.
There's a bonus interview of 5 Venoms action director Robert Tai where he talks about using swords in films.
I've seen the U.K. release but I understand the US version has an outer case and an insert postcard with posters and stills.
Just get Rarescope!"
Decent release from rarescope
J. Y. TRASMONTE | S.F. Bay Area | 01/18/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"the movie is about a guy whose the only one left in the family that knows about a special sword. There is a clan led by a mysterious bishop whose in search for the sword and kills everybody who goes against them including the buddhist monks. Therefore, this group of people is on the chase to the guy whose the last one to know about the sword.
The film have a pretty decent story line and has a really great twist at the end that makes me go "oh no wonder why". The scenery of the film is superb by showing the vast green mountains and forest, waterfalls etc.
The action is pretty good with raw swordfighting and the flying around wire stunts is not overly used to the extreme but is used with grace.
Overall, i give this film 4 out of 5 because is has a good storyline, many raw swordfighting scene, and leaves off a usual chessy idiot in most film that dominates most kung fu flicks in the 80's. The film was shot in late '70s. If u like touch of zen then u might probably also like this film.
Check out another classic rare kung fu released by rarescope that is called showdown at the cotton mill becuase its really a great action classic film. If u havent seen a touch of zen then u need to check it out cuz its another great classic swordfighting film in the 70's."
What happened to my first Review?!
Christopher J. Deasy | Depends on the time of year | 08/05/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Reviewed this movie at length once already.... I am looking forward to more Rarescope releases based on this first purchase. A serious positive (for me) is that it is in the orginally Mandarin format (with subtitles). It misses five stars by a hair (slow in parts), but is definitely worthy of purchase. I think the first reviewer already did a nice job - so I will second his opinions here...